<i>By Millicent Njeri, CSR Africa</i>

The Paradigm Project, a low-profit, limited liability company (L3C) whose mission is to create sustainable economic, social and environmental value within developing world communities, announced that their efficient cook stove project has been registered by The Gold Standard, an award-winning certification scheme for carbon credits in both the compliance and voluntary carbon markets. The Paradigm Project’s cook stove project, launched in Kenya, has already implemented 45,000 efficient cookstoves with plans for expansion throughout East Africa and parts of Latin America, with a target goal of implementing 5 million stoves by the year 2020.

“The registration by The Gold Standard is a momentous achievement for The Paradigm Project, but also signifies an important milestone for positively impacting developing world communities through leveraging commercial carbon markets,” explains Neil Bellefeuille, CEO of The Paradigm Project. “We have created a unique model that utilizes carbon credits and engages investors and donors in a collaborative effort to create social enterprises that result in positive effects on impoverished communities and a positive financial return on invested dollars over time.”

The Paradigm Project’s cook stove project, financed through a unique donor and investor program, features a simple yet powerful design that burns wood more efficiently, lowering family expenditures, mitigating deforestation, curtailing green-house gas emissions and helping to reduce the exposure of families to dangerous air pollutants in smoke from indoor cooking. Currently, 3 billion people on the planet are lacking these efficient cook stoves, which leads to the death of nearly 2 million women and children every year. The impact of each individual stove is $280 of local income, 1,300 hours of time saved, 33 trees spared and a 60% reduction of toxic smoke in the home of the family using the cookstove.

The Paradigm Project’s cook stove project provides a sustainable model for impacting communities in need, while also creating financially profitable results for investors and participating communities. Both donors and investors will see a positive financial return on all dollars invested in or donated to the project. Donors receive a greater return on their giving now and in the future with a program that multiplies the value of their gift and becomes completely self-sustaining, rather than simply being spent. Those who participate in the investment program will receive dividends from the investment over time.